The Shepherd, July 2009
FROM THE FATHERS
“CONCERNING the Emperor Zeno [474-491 A.D], one of the Fathers told us this: that he wronged a woman by wronging her daughter. She frequented the Church of our All-holy Lady Mary, the Mother of God, beseeching her and saying with tears, ‘Defend my cause against the Emperor Zeno.’ When she had continued thus for many days, the All-holy Mother of God appeared to her, saying: ‘Believe me, woman, I frequently tried to get satisfaction for you, but his right hand prevents me,’ - for he was a very good almsgiver”
“ONE of the holy Fathers said that a woman of senatorial rank came to worship at the Holy Places. When she came to Cæsarea, it pleased her instead to stay there in solitary retirement. She asked the Bishop to give her a virgin, who could train her in religion & teach her the fear of God. The Bishop selected a modest one & gave her to the great lady. Sometime later the Bishop encountered her & asked, ‘How is the virgin I gave you?’ ‘She is fine,’ she replied, ‘but not much benefit to my soul, because she is so humble that she lets me get my own way. I need someone who will stand up to me and not let me do whatever I want.’ So the Bishop took away the first virgin and sent another, a stern one who used to address her as ‘fool of a rich woman’ and heap similar imprecations upon her. Afterwards, the Bishop asked her again how she found the virgin and the lady replied: ‘This one is certainly good for my soul,’ and she became distinguished for her humility.”
Two Extracts from “The Spiritual Meadow”
of John Moschos, + 619 A.D.